Child's accidental shot killed man at remote cabin, troopers say

Casey Grove

A man shot dead at a remote cabin south of Skwentna in October was hit by a bullet fired inadvertently by his child, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Charles Lamb, 61, died in the Oct. 15 shooting and it remained unclear for about a month who fired the gun and whether the gunfire had been accidental or the result of foul play. On Friday, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said one of Lamb's children accidentally shot Lamb with a .38-caliber handgun while Lamb split and stacked firewood.

"The investigation shows that Mr. Lamb's children were inside a blue-tarped wood shed structure on the property while Mr. Lamb was doing chores outside the structure," Ipsen said. "One of the children was handling a small handgun without Mr. Lamb's knowledge when it unintentionally discharged, striking Mr. Lamb in the torso, causing a fatal wound. Mr. Lamb was nearby and out of view of the young child at the time of the shooting."

Someone notified troopers and an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter flew to the Hiline Lake cabin, west of the Parks Highway about 40 miles across the Susitna Valley. Pararescue jumpers loaded Lamb into the helicopter, which flew the injured man to Anchorage. He died at a hospital, troopers said.

Troopers said Lamb lived at the cabin with his wife and two children. Investigators returned in a trooper helicopter and interviewed the wife and children, Ipsen said.

Ipsen declined to release the child's age because it would identify the child, who is not charged with any crime.

"This is traumatic enough for the child and the family to deal with," Ipsen said. "As anyone would expect, it was a very upsetting and painful event for the child and the entire family."